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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Listen to the Humbugs sing...Atheism IS a religion!


Above - Could this be the fabled Chance, the Evolution Fairy?!!!

Reminding readers what Merriam online calls humbug (see the last post for the link)

Main Entry: 1hum·bug
Pronunciation: \ˈhəm-ˌbəg\
Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: 1751

1 a : something designed to deceive and mislead b : a willfully false, deceptive, or insincere person
2 : an attitude or spirit of pretense and deception
3 : nonsense, drivel



Second in our humbug series is the idea of atheism. Naturalistic materialist atheist scientists declare that their point of view is the scientific point of view but actually it arises from their religion, which can be called naturalism for short. Naturalists take title to the deed of science without making proper payment. Science has always belonged to all levels and kinds of inquiries that include the supernatural element and that in the last couple of centuries a majority of ideologues say otherwise is immaterial. Darwinists believe in macroevolution powered at the core by chance. It is a belief that requires quite a large amount of faith. It takes great faith to give chance the credit for creation, with all its fine-tuning and evidence of very intentional design, irreducible complexities and symbiotic relationships that cannot be separated without death to all included.

The first article presents Atheism as a true faith, fitting all the requirements. The second article illustrates the tremendous amount of faith an atheist must have in the face of so many seemingly insurmountable facts of science.

I will quote what Calvin Smith says, so that I will have prefaced my post with the point of the post and those who dare enter within will have difficulty getting out of the monkey puzzle with one's logic intact without admitting that faith is part and parcel to his or her beliefs about creation, life and origins! One must abandon Occam's Razor and all basic logic to toss aside an ex nihilo creation by God and try to give random undirected processes credit for all the designed systems and organisms and processes we observe.

Belief in atheistic evolution is a blind faith. It is a belief based in non-observed, unproven scientific processes, while philosophically denying hope, purpose, justice or ultimate meaning to life.

I have in the past given the name Chance, the Evolution Fairy
to the process or another one was Five Canard Stud.

picture credit for following two images...Chance may be dead but the basic thought pattern of Darwinists lives on!!!





Atheism: A religion

by Daniel Smartt

Published: 4 May 2010(GMT+10)
atheist Richard Dawkins

Would Richard Dawkins ever acknowledge that his rabid atheism is actually a religious view?

Atheism is the belief that there is no god. According to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

“Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive belief rather than mere suspension of disbelief.”1

Buddhism is atheistic in the sense of denying that there is any overarching deity such as the Creator-God of the Bible. Atheism in the western sense excludes Buddhism, and adherents claim that it is not a religion. One Atheist said:

“Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour”2

However, atheists make such claims so Atheism can avoid legal imperatives placed on religions in many countries, and can avoid some of the ideological hang-ups people have about “religion”. It also creates a false dichotomy between science (which they claim must be naturalistic and secular) and religion.

Atheism3 will be defined in the contemporary western sense: not just the lack of belief in a god, but the assertion about the non-existence of any gods, spirits, or divine or supernatural beings. Atheists in this sense are metaphysical naturalists, and as will be shown, they DO follow a religion.

Atheism creates a false dichotomy between science (which they claim must be naturalistic and secular) and religion.

Religion is a difficult thing to define. Various definitions have been proposed, many of which emphasize a belief in the supernatural.4 But such definitions break down on closer inspection for several reasons. They fail to deal with religions which worship non-supernatural things in their own right (for example Jainism, which holds that every living thing is sacred because it is alive, or the Mayans who worshiped the sun as a deity in and of itself rather than a deity associated with the sun)5; they fail to include religions such as Confucianism and Taoism which focus almost exclusively on how adherents should live, and the little they do say about supernatural issues such as the existence of an afterlife is very vague; they also don’t deal with religious movements centred around UFOs—which believe that aliens are highly (evolutionarily) advanced (but not supernatural) beings.

A better way to determine whether a worldview is a religion is to look for certain characteristics that religions have in common. The framework set forth by Ninian Smart,6 commonly known as the Seven Dimensions of Religion, is widely accepted by anthropologists and researchers of religion as broadly covering the various aspects of religion, without focusing on things unique to specific religions.

The seven dimensions proposed by Smart are narrative, experiential, social, ethical, doctrinal, ritual and material. Not every religion has every dimension, nor are they all equally important within an individual religion. Smart even argues that the “secularisation” of western society is actually a shift of focus from the doctrinal and ritual to the experiential.

Narrative

Every religion has its stories. Almost all religions have stories explaining where the universe came from and what humanity’s part in it is. Smart calls this Narrative.

Narrative is a particularly important aspect of western Atheism. As the prominent Atheist Richard Dawkins said, referring to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution:

“Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”7

Evolution is an explanation of where everything came from: the cosmos (came out of nothing at the big bang—nothing exploded and became everything); humans evolved from non-human creatures, hence humanity’s place in the cosmos is being just another species of animal. Some have gone so far as to say that humanity is a parasite on earth, and advocate killing up to 90% of humanity.8 There are some who attempt to combine belief in God with belief in evolution, not realizing the foundational nature of evolution’s connection to Atheism.9 The testimony of those who after learning about evolution in “science” reject Christianity should alert church leaders to the incompatibility between evolution and the Gospel.

Experiential

There are two aspects to the experiential dimension. The first is the events experienced before someone founded a religion (for example the Disciples physically saw and touched the bodily resurrected Jesus). It is often asserted that Charles Darwin, after observing evidence from around the world during his voyage on HMS Beagle, developed the theory of evolution. (In reality, he had already learned a version of evolution from his grandfather Erasmus’s book Zoonomia and similar ideas were around at the time).

According to the Humanist Manifesto II, the only meaning in life is what the person gives it.

The second aspect of the experiential dimension concerns the experiences of latter adherents. Many people feel certain emotions when they participate in certain religious ceremonies. Atheists often believe that Atheism is freedom from religion, and some Atheists have reported feeling liberated after converting.10 Karl Marx said that the removal of the illusion of happiness by the removal of religion was a step towards true happiness. Atheistic denial of the divine entails denial of an afterlife. If there is no afterlife,11 then ultimately is no higher purpose in life for Atheists than to be happy. According to the Humanist Manifesto II, the only meaning in life is what the person gives it. In the Humanist Manifesto III, this was changed to finding meaning in relationships. Belief in evolution also causes people to aim for self preservation and to spread their own genes.12

Smart also seems to include “faith” as part of the experiential dimension. The meaning of the word “faith” is often twisted to make it mean things it does not. In Christianity, faith is logical, being defined in Hebrews 1:11 as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” This is not blindly believing the impossible (which is how many Atheists define faith), but rather trusting the promises of God, whose past promises have all been fulfilled. I would classify Christian faith as part of the doctrinal dimension rather than experiential. On the other hand, Atheism requires “faith” (using their own definition) that the laws of chemistry, physics and biology were once violated and life arose from non-life via chemical evolution.

Social

The social dimension of religion looks at the hierarchies and power structures present within the religion, such the Hindu caste system. In missionary religions, it also includes how people get converted and how missionaries go about their work.

Contemporary Atheism has been fueled largely by authors promoting their Atheistic beliefs. In the preface to The God Delusion, Dawkins says,

“If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down.”

Dawkins is saying he hopes that his book converts “religious” people to his worldview – exactly what a missionary of any religion hopes to do.

Communist countries often made the state religion Atheism, often to the point of persecuting (other) religions.13 This followed from Karl Marx’ statement:

“It [religion] is the opiate of the masses. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.”14

Marxists saw the removal of religion as a step toward true happiness for the common people, although in practice this did not occur, and contemporary critics see Marxism itself as a religion15. (I would contend that Marxism is a sect of a larger religion: Atheism).

Many scientists are high up on the social hierarchy of Atheism because their research enhances their understanding of the world. Particularly honoured are those scientists who write extensively about evolution. Because of this, many scientists include a little about evolution in their research papers, even when there is little or no relevance (one recent example concerns research into the chameleon’s catapult tongue and suction cap; see Created, not evolved)

Atheism is also taught to children in many schools in science classes as evolution. As atheistic philosopher Michael Ruse admits, “evolution is a religion”, and it could be considered the narrative dimension of Atheism. Thus teaching evolution is teaching Atheism. Several Atheists even support teaching lies, as long as the end result is more children believing evolution.16

Doctrinal

Doctrines are the beliefs and philosophies that develop out of a religion (not necessarily being specifically stated in the religious narratives, etc). For example, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, while not directly stated in the Bible, is logically derived from it.

Contemporary Atheism gained popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries, after the “enlightenment”. In 1933, some prominent Atheist philosophers realised the effects the lack of a belief in a god would have on the morals of society and wrote what they believed would be a suitable set of beliefs and goals for a secular society in the 20th century. In doing so, they formed the branch of Atheism known as Secular Humanism. By and large, Atheists believe and adhere to the things written in the Humanist Manifesto, even if they don’t know the specifics of the document. After all, many Atheists do want to do what is good.

The doctrines, ethics and goals outlined in the Humanist Manifesto, while being atheistic and accepting evolution as true, are opposite of what would be expected if they were solely derived from the evolutionary narrative. This is because Humanism also makes the assumption that humans are basically good.

In 1973 however, the Humanist Manifesto was updated because of the atrocities that humans inflicted upon other humans during the intervening years (specifically mentioned are Nazism and communist police states).

Ethical

Atheism is a morally relativist religion. Most Atheists adhere to one ethical system or another, but in Atheism there is ultimately no foundation for morality, as atheists Dawkins and Provine admit. Many systems of ethics have been proposed; utilitarianism is probably the most popular one.

Some people have taken a further step by creating ethical systems based on the evolutionary narrative and the principle of “survival of the fittest”. People who have lived by such principles include the perpetrators of the Columbine Massacre, the Jokela School Shooting in Finland, and on a much larger scale, the Nazis.

Most people (Atheist or not) inherently know that systems that lead to such atrocities must be wrong, but Atheists cannot give a logical reason for why it is wrong. This contradiction was highlighted by Dawkins when he said “I’m a passionate Darwinian when it comes to science, when it comes to explaining the world, but I’m a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to morality and politics.” It was also graphically shown when two evolutionists wrote a book claiming that rape is an evolutionary mechanism to spread male genes—and see how one of them squirmed to justify why he agreed that rape is objectively wrong under his philosophy.

A world governed purely by Atheistic, evolutionary ethics has been shown by history to be a horrible place to live. Most Atheists recognise this and choose to live by the ethical systems of other religions instead, or at the very least, live by the laws enforced by the government.

Ritual

Ritual is the only dimension which on the surface might appear to be absent from the religion of Atheism. In some religions, rituals have meanings attached to them, such as Passover commemorating the Israelites’ escape from Egypt. Because Atheism is a relatively recent movement, it doesn’t have much of a history to commemorate. In other religions, rituals such as sacrifices and dances are done to appease the gods or the spirits. Because Atheism denies the existence of gods and spirits, it doesn’t have the second type of ritual either. Many Atheists do practice “secular rituals” such as their birthday celebrations, or the ‘ritual holidays’ of other religions such as the Christmas and Easter public holidays of Christianity, but this is usually to simply maintain the tradition of a public holiday, and the original meaning of the celebrations are rejected. It’s noteworthy that in recent years, the atheists’ public commemoration of the anniversary of Darwin’s birth each February (and even of the publication of his Origin of Species in November), along with calls for the general public to do the same, is rapidly becoming something of an annual ritual, even in some “churches”. One might even say that this modern Atheistic commemoration is being ‘celebrated’ with greater fervour and passion than many longstanding religious rituals.

Material

While Atheism by its nature of denying the divine can’t have objects that represent the divine (such as icons or idols), nature is treated as sacred by some Atheists in and of itself.

The material dimension of religion, says Smart, includes all the physical things created by a religion such as art and buildings, and also natural features and places treated as sacred by adherents. While Atheism by its nature of denying the divine can’t have objects that represent the divine (such as icons or idols), nature is treated as sacred by some Atheists in and of itself.

There are two extremes in the range of ideas held by Atheists on the ‘material’:

  • natural resources are here to be exploited because of “survival of the fittest” and humans are obviously the fittest species; or
  • we should respect all of nature, particularly living things because to kill them is tantamount to murdering a cousin. This second view essentially holds that all life is ‘sacred’.

Both ideas can be derived from the evolutionary narrative, but views tending towards the second idea are more prevalent than the views tending towards the first. But as G.K. Chesterton said a century ago:

“Darwinism can be used to back up two mad moralities, but it cannot be used to back up a single sane one. The kinship and competition of all living creatures can be used as a reason for being insanely cruel or insanely sentimental; but not for a healthy love of animals. … The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”

An Atheist’s view of the material dimension is strongly influenced by their view of the ethical dimension.

Conclusion

Atheists often claim that their belief is not a religion. This allows them to propagate their beliefs in settings where other religions are banned, but this should not be so.

Contemporary Western Atheism unquestionably has six of the seven dimensions of religion set forth by Smart, and the remaining dimension, ritual, has also started to develop. Thus it’s fallacious to assert, “Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour”. Perhaps a better analogy would be calling a shaved head a “hairstyle”. Other than the denial of the divine, there is little difference between Atheism and other worldviews typically labelled as religions.

The dichotomy that Atheists try to create between science and religion is false. The conflict is between interpretations of science coming from different religious worldviews.

Atheism shouldn’t be taught or enforced in settings where other religions are banned and shouldn’t be favoured by laws which imply a religiously neutral government.


Related article

References

  1. Rowe, WL. ”Atheism”, in Craig. E Routledge, Ed., Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, New York, 1998. Return to text.
  2. Don Hirschberg, viewed on 6 October 2008, http://Atheisme.free.fr/Quotes/Atheist.htm. Return to text.
  3. In this article, Atheism is deliberately written with an upper case “A” as an indicator of what it has become. Return to text.
  4. For example Cline, A., 30, October, 2009 What is Religion? Viewed on 15, March, 2010. http://atheism.about.com/od/religiondefinition/a/definition.htm Return to text.
  5. It should be noted that this example isn’t saying that Mayans didn’t have other deities. Return to text.
  6. Smart, N., 1996. Dimensions of the sacred: an anatomy of the world’s beliefs. HarperCollins, London. Return to text.
  7. Dawkins, R., 1986. The Blind Watchmaker. Penguin Books, London. Return to text.
  8. Pianka, E. 3 March, 2006, Dr. “Doom” Pianka Speaks Recorded audio. Transcript Retrieved on 6th October 2008, from http://www.pearceyreport.com/archives/2006/04/transcript_dr_d.php; see also Doomsday Glee: An astonishing lecture makes sense if you understand the evolutionary framework; . Return to text.
  9. Anderson, D., 2009. Creation or evolution: choose wisely! Return to text.
  10. Colbeck, R. 8, December, 2006. Book answers atheists’ prayers. Viewed on 5, October 2008. http://richarddawkins.net/article,399,Book-answers-the-Atheists-prayers,Robert-Colbeck. Return to text.
  11. Provine, WB. 1994. Origins Research 16(1), p.9. Return to text.
  12. Dawkins, R., 2006. The Selfish Gene. 3rd ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Return to text.
  13. Sinishta, G., 1976. The Fulfilled Promise: A Documentary Account of Religious Persecution in Albania. Albanian Catholic Information Center, Santa Clara. Return to text.
  14. O’Malley, J. (ed), 1970. Marx’s Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Return to text.
  15. Ref. 6, pp262–269 Return to text.
  16. Zivkovic, B. (aka ‘Coturnix’). 25 August 2008. Why teaching evolution is dangerous, viewed 7 October 2008, http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2008/08/why_teaching_evolution_is_dang.php. See also Evolutionist: it’s OK to deceive students to believe evolution; .


Lost in translation

The genetic information code points to an intelligent source

by Calvin Smith

Published: 6 May 2010(GMT+10)

Photo stock.xchng

What good are instructions if no one is receiving them?

‘What good are instructions if no one is receiving them?’

The Kingston Trio song “Desert Pete” reached its peak Billboard position (# 33) in 1963. The tune described a traveler in the desert that encounters an old water pump and a baking powder tin with a note in it. The writer of the note explains that buried underneath the sand he has placed a jar with water in it, and if the traveler primes the pump with its contents, they will be able to have all the water they desire. He warns however;

“Now there’s just enough to prime it with
so don’tcha go drinkin’ first
You just pour it in and pump like mad,
buddy, you’ll quench your thirst … ”

This amusing tune speaks of loving your neighbor in a practical way (one person taking the time to leave the water jar) and also of confidence in your fellow man (the other man’s step of faith by trusting that the instructions left are correct and that the water will not be wasted unnecessarily).

Send and receive

But what if the traveler was unable to read the note (either because they were of a different culture or simply illiterate)? What good would the information have been without someone that could understand it?

Obviously in any form of communication (whether Braille, Morse code, spoken language etc) there must first be a transmitter and then a receiver that understands the specific code used or else the communication is useless, literally “lost” in translation. If Desert Pete’s traveler had been Chinese (and didn’t understand English) he might have perished!

Origin of a code

Atheistic evolutionists are committed to a materialistic origin of life. As such, there should be no non-material quantity to the universe. However, modern science shows us that the study of biology is largely a study of information science, as all living things contain vast libraries of information in the form of a genetic code (DNA).

So committed evolutionists must believe (for the origin of life to have occurred naturalistically) that a code system originated by chance, with no outside intelligence. But experimental science has shown this is false. Information is non-material; it is a metaphysical entity, and has only been observed to be derived from an intelligent source. An example can be demonstrated simply.

… in any form of communication … there must first be a transmitter and then a receiver that understands the specific code used or else the communication is useless, literally ‘lost’ in translation.

Pretend I take a piece of chalk and write a message on a blackboard; “Hi, my name is Cal”. If I asked you “Where did the information come from?” would you say “From the chalk”? If I were to rub the message off the board and show you the chalk on my hand would you say there is any information in it? No.

Obviously information was carried on the material of the chalk (because of the arrangement) but chalk has no inherent information content. The information can be traced back to the mind (me) that formulated the message, not the matter (calcium carbonate). Similarly, DNA is comprised of sugar, phosphates and bases, but the matter that it is made of does not contain the information, the arrangement of it does.

So information is 1) metaphysical (it is not a part of the matter it is carried on) and 2) only ever been observed to be created by intelligence. This is a huge challenge to the atheistic paradigm, and many atheistic evolutionists committed to their faith are aware of the challenge and trying desperately to solve it.

“To stem the growing swell of Intelligent Design intrusions, it is imperative that we provide stand-alone natural process evidence of non trivial self-organization at the edge of chaos. We must demonstrate on sound scientific grounds the formal capabilities of naturally-occurring physicodynamic complexity.”1

This evolutionary author (DL Abel) has identified what he calls the “null hypothesis” to naturalism,2 shown below.

Can we falsify any of the following null hypotheses?

Neither spontaneous combinatorial complexity nor “The Edge of Chaos” can generate:

  1. Mathematical logic
  2. Algorithmic optimization
  3. Cybernetic programming
  4. Computational halting
  5. Integrated circuits
  6. Organization (e.g., homeostatic metabolism far from equilibrium)
  7. Material symbol systems (e.g., genetics)
  8. Any goal-oriented bona fide system
  9. Language
  10. Formal function of any kind
  11. Utilitarian work

But he admits the more honest we are about current discoveries within living things, the further away from naturalistic explanations we get;

“ … science has an obligation to be honest about what the entire body of evidence clearly suggests. We cannot just keep endlessly labelling abundant evidence of formal prescription in nature “apparent”. The fact of purposeful programming at multiple layers gets more “apparent” with each new issue of virtually every molecular biology journal.”3

So the ever increasing accumulation of observable evidence is going in the wrong direction! All living things operate and replicate using vast quantities of coded information which is stored, read, transcribed and translated. All of these processes shout out purposeful, intelligent sophisticated programming (far more advanced than any technology we’ve yet conceived), not blind, purposeless, naturalistic processes.

Aside from the fact that no one has observed a code system spontaneously generating, it is even beyond our imagination to concoct a story of how matter could formulate a code. So, far from the average lay person’s belief that scientists have the origin of life figured out, the honest scientists who understand the problem are admitting that they don’t know at all.

“At the same time, we have spent much of the last century arguing to the lay community that we have proved the current biological paradigm. Unfortunately, very few in the scientific community seem critical of this indiscretion. One would think that if all this evidence is so abundant, it would be quick and easy to falsify the null hypothesis put forward above.”4

The faith needed to believe that a code system spontaneously came into being is far fetched, but the concept that ‘matter’ developed a ‘mind’ capable of understanding it goes beyond faith and into the realm of fantasy.

But the problem is even more dire than most people know. Not only must the committed materialist believe that a code system spontaneously generated, they must also believe that a translation device specific to that exact code must also have “evolved” through natural causes! (The coded information in the DNA of living things is only useful when translated and expressed in specific structures and functions).

This is truly a dizzying prospect, as not only is the process of translation itself (in all of our experience) another activity that can always be traced back to an intelligent source,5 but what is the chance (in the infinite amount of “translators” that might have evolved) for it to be the exact one that matched the code that evolved?

It’s like the note in Desert Pete. Even if the note could have written itself somehow, what good is the note if there were no one to understand it? What good are instructions if no one is receiving them? The faith needed to believe that a code system spontaneously came into being is far fetched, but the concept that “matter” developed a “mind” capable of understanding it goes beyond faith and into the realm of fantasy.

A step of faith

Faith in Jesus Christ is based on trust in God’s word. The Bible is a credible message given to us from the past from one who foresaw our needs and cares and wants the best for us. It has not, as some critics say, been lost in translation, but a message that has been faithfully passed on for hundreds of years. However, it is not a blind leap, but an intelligent step forward based on evidence and logic.

Belief in atheistic evolution is a blind faith. It is a belief based in non-observed, unproven scientific processes, while philosophically denying hope, purpose, justice or ultimate meaning to life.

The explorer in this life faces the same options as the desert traveler. Live a life full of short term gratification (drink the water in the jar) or enjoy the full life of abundance (put your faith in an unseen source). The results of non-belief lead to ultimate ruin, but the step of faith leads to eternal life.

As Pete says;

“You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe
You’ve got to give of yourself ’fore you’re worthy to receive
Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet
Leave the bottle full for others, thank you kindly, Desert Pete”

References

  1. Abel, D.L., The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity, International Journal of Molecular Sciences 10:247–291, 9 January 2009 | doi:10.3390/ijms10010247 Return to text.
  2. Return to text.
  3. Same as 1 (italics in original). Return to text.
  4. Same as 1 Return to text.
  5. Even though non living computers can translate information, that process can only happen because of the programming of translation software by intelligent designers. Return to text.

35 comments:

creeper said...

"Naturalistic materialist atheist scientists declare that their point of view is the scientific point of view but actually it arises from their religion, which can be called naturalism for short. Naturalists take title to the deed of science without making proper payment. Science has always belonged to all levels and kinds of inquiries that include the supernatural element and that in the last couple of centuries a majority of ideologues say otherwise is immaterial."

Same old nonsense that has been refuted and debunked numerous times on your blog. And yet here you are again.

When did science - including as practiced by the Christian scientists of centuries past in that list you parade around once in a while - ever "include the supernatural element"? Ever?

You've been challenged about this time and time again, always failed to come up with an answer, and yet here you are, trying the same nonsensical propaganda yet again.

The scientific method happens to rely on methodological naturalism. All scientists of all religions use it. Methodological naturalism is not the same as ontological naturalism. That's your key misunderstanding in this type of rant.

How about reading up on it sometime so you don't have to embarrass yourself like this in future?

"Darwinists believe in macroevolution powered at the core by chance."

And while you're at it, acquaint yourself with the theory of natural selection sometime. This well-worn strawman argument of yours doesn't exactly improve with age.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Same old nonsense that has been refuted and debunked numerous times on your blog.

Dead on, Creeper. Radar, you continue to repeat the same claims without proving them, or dealing with any of the counterexamples that people have provided. That's not science. It's not even intelligent religious discussion. It's mindless dogma of the sort that St. Thomas of Aquinas warned against.

There is a book that you need to read, Radar. It's called Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. It has a great deal to say on the subjects of mathematics, communication, and the nature of information. The problem is, I'm not sure you would ever allow yourself to understand it, because it shoots a great many holes in your simplistic certainty that your worldview is the only valid one.

Jon Woolf said...

Oh, one other thing: you really need to work on your research-fu skills. The first two images in this post, the crocoduck and the fossilized fairy, are both from Worth1000.com, a gargantuan website given to Photoshop contests of all shapes and sizes. The crocoduck is from one of their "Chimaera" contests -- you can even see the Worth1000 logo in the lower left hand corner. The fossil fairy is probably from one of their "Archaeological Anomalies" contests; I'm not sure which one, but I'm sure that's where I first saw it. So your credits for both photos are wrong.

A hint for the future: any highly skilled photoshop job like those is probably a Worth1000 entry.

Another hint for the future: all entries to Worth1000 are copyrighted, to Worth1000 and the original artists.

Anonymous said...

"Belief in atheistic evolution is a blind faith. It is a belief based in non-observed, unproven scientific processes, while philosophically denying hope, purpose, justice or ultimate meaning to life."

An impressive piece of prose. 29 words and not a single correct statement. Nothing in it is correct. Nothing.

scohen said...

"Religion is a difficult thing to define."

Spoken like someone who hasn't taken a single religious studies class.

Read Eliade.

On some level, you must know that there is a whole department at university that studies the phenomenon of religion and you honestly think that they can't even define what they're studying?

Pretty arrogant, my friend

creeper said...

Let's not forget that our friend Radar doesn't find religion so difficult to define at all. In an attempt to distance himself from religion (for reasons I still can't entirely fathom), Radar defined religion very clearly:

"To be very specific, I believe that religion as applied is a system of rules and regulations that, if you obey them, take you to heaven or paradise or nirvana or (fill in the blank). "

Which clearly doesn't apply to atheism one bit, ergo, by Radar's own definition atheism is not a religion.

So why all this humbug about atheism being a religion?

It's self-serving rhetoric to counter the argument that creationism should be kept out of science classes because it isn't science, but religion. Pretend that actual science is religion, they reason, will level the playing field.

Of course such an argument doesn't have a leg to stand on, but that won't stop creationists from repeating this argument ad nauseam.

Incidentally, Mr. Smartt himself, a student at an Australian university, doesn't seem terribly bright, as he, too, repeats the moronic talking point that the Big Bang theory says that "nothing exploded and became everything".

-- creeper

Hawkeye® said...

creeper,

When did science - including as practiced by the Christian scientists of centuries past in that list you parade around once in a while - ever "include the supernatural element"? Ever?


I think you miss the point. It's not so much that scientists, including Christian scientists, used a "supernatural element" in their experiments -- as if they could summon angels or demons to participate in their human venture. Rather, it is that the scientists who performed those experiments believed in a supernatural God and were seeking to understand the supernatural laws which govern His creation.

For example, Sir Isaac Newton viewed gravity as a "supernatural" force that was simply inconceivable. He said: "Tis inconceivable that inanimate brute matter should (without the mediation of something else which is not material) operate upon & affect other matter without mutual contact."

Though he is better known for his love of science, the Bible was Sir Isaac Newton's greatest passion. He devoted more time to the study of Scripture than to science, and he said, "I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily." He spent a great deal of time trying to discover hidden messages within the Bible. He looked for clues to world around him in the Word of God.

Newton saw God as the masterful creator whose existence could not be denied in the face of the grandeur of all creation. He warned against using the law of gravity to view the universe as a mere machine, like a great clock. He said: "Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done. This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being... This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called "Lord God" παντοκρατωρ [pantokratōr], or "Universal Ruler"... The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, [and] absolutely perfect."

In this regard, Newton is not unlike many other early scientists who were seeking to understand how God has ordered His universe. The Bible portrays God as the one who brings order to the universe. In the beginning there was nothing but chaos. "The earth was without form and [there was nothing but a] void." There was no light, because "darkness was upon the face of the deep [space]." So what does God do? God creates light and separates light from darkness. He creates the earth. He separates water from dry land. He creates plants and animals "according to their own kinds". Finally He creates humans.

According to the Bible, God makes the sun to rise and set each day. He brings the seasons every year. He makes the snow to fall, and plants to grow. Genesis 8:22 says: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." He provides a sun for the day and a moon for the night. He puts the stars in their place. God brings order to the universe.

(continued...)

Hawkeye® said...

(...continued)

It is only because God brings order and regularity to the universe, that science could be born. Science depends on the fact that there are regularities in the world. Without regularities, there would ultimately be nothing to study. Scientists depend not only on the regularities with which they are already familiar, but they also postulate that still more regularities will be found in areas that they have yet to investigate.

When these regularities are discovered, measured, quantified and determined to be reproducible in the laboratory, they are defined as "laws". Thus, we have Newton's laws, Boyle's law, Dalton's law, Mendel's laws, Kirchhoff's laws, etc. What you and many others refer to as "natural laws", are in fact the "scientific laws" that early scientists believed were established by God to bring order His universe.

The fact that you call them "natural laws" suggests that you have taken them away from God and turned them over to nature. You have taken them from the Creator and turned them over to the creation. That is what the author means when he says: "Naturalists take title to the deed of science without making proper payment."

Why did the early scientists believe that God established all these laws? Quite frankly, it is because these laws reveal the fingerprint of God Himself. They bear His attributes. Allow me to explain...

Scientists think of laws as universal in time and space. That is to say, that if it is really a "law" that is correctly formulated and qualified, then it holds true for "all places" and "all times". In other words, it is "omnipresent" and "eternal". The classic terms of omnipresence (in all places) and eternity (at all times) are traditionally attributed to God.

Other divine attributes belong to scientific laws. If a law holds for all times, we must presume that it will be the same law throughout all time. The law does not change with time. Therefore it is unchangeable or "immutable". In Malachi 3:6 God says: "For I the LORD do not change."

Next, scientific laws are basically ideas. We do not literally see a law, but only the effects of the law on the material world. The law is essentially immaterial and invisible, but is known through its effects. Likewise, God is essentially immaterial and invisible, but is known through His acts in the world.

Finally, real scientific laws (as opposed to scientists’ approximations of them) are also absolutely, infallibly true. Truthfulness is another attribute of God.

The Bible tells us that the hand of God can be found by an examination of His handiwork: "For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made" (Romans 1:19-20a).

The Bible also tells us that some people absolutely refuse to accept the truth and "worship" the creation rather than the Creator: "they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools... because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator" (Romans 1:21b-22,25)

So be it. Worship nature rather than God if you so choose. But here's something else to think about from Sir Isaac Newton: "Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors." It is senseless indeed.

Anonymous said...

Radar sez -

Woolf - ad nauseum. The scientific method itself is a belief in an orderly intentionally designed Universe that can be studied and understood. Atheists believe in random chaos (they say) but do science as if they believe they will find logic and order.

Also I know Darwinists are taught to simply say that we do not understand evolution and thereby walk away from the questions. You get no points for taking your ball and going home. It appears I understand it better than you.

creeper As a matter of fact, atheism fits my definition just fine.

"To be very specific, I believe that religion as applied is a system of rules and regulations that, if you obey them, take you to heaven or paradise or nirvana or (fill in the blank). "

fill in the blank - "intellectually satisfied in the belief that there is no God." Dawkins said so himself in about the same way and other Darwinist have as well. Atheism is your religion because you believe it takes you to a place where God does not have to exist. Your heaven is on earth, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Worth1000 is right on the picture so that it is attributed. The other two pictures were linked to the site from whence they came. If they got them from somewhere else I am not aware of it, I simply attributed my source.

Oh, and if nothing did not explode into something, what was the singularity at the point just before the big bang? The world awaits...

radar

highboy said...

"An impressive piece of prose. 29 words and not a single correct statement. Nothing in it is correct. Nothing."

You'll have to do better than that. Atheism in itself is most certainly blind. To declare a positive assertion that there is no God requires proof that no scientist is able to provide. I think the point radar is making is that naturalism, the worldview that relies completely on natural phenomenon, assumes for no reason that this is all there is. Problem being, that it has to assume that the natural order has always been there, without a shred of evidence to suggest such a thing. What Christian scientists believe (regardless of OEC vs. YEC) is that the natural order, by definition of being ordered, has a cause that actually ordered it that stems from something other than "it just happened".

Anonymous said...

"Belief in atheistic evolution is a blind faith. It is a belief based in non-observed, unproven scientific processes, while philosophically denying hope, purpose, justice or ultimate meaning to life."

Poster, disprove any part of this, try it. If we evolved by accident at random then we have no purpose and were not made purposefully. There can be no justice because there is no absolute to determine right and wrong. Macroevolution has never been observed and I confidently predict it never will. The design of the cell prevents this from happening. Furthermore you cannot claim to have free will if you have evolved, for you do not have any reason to believe that everything you think and every action taken is simply a product of evolved impulses apart from any choice of your own.

Hawkeye, great observations!

radar

creeper said...

"I think you miss the point. It's not so much that scientists, including Christian scientists, used a "supernatural element" in their experiments -- as if they could summon angels or demons to participate in their human venture. Rather, it is that the scientists who performed those experiments believed in a supernatural God and were seeking to understand the supernatural laws which govern His creation."

I don't miss that point at all, though you might ask Radar if he does based on the quote I was responding to.

The point I have made numerous times on this blog is that all scientists regardless of their private beliefs use methodological naturalism in their work. Radar consistently muddles this up with ontological naturalism, hence his belief that his constant prattling about worldview has any bearing on this argument.

As for scientists' motivations, it's irrelevant whether, say, Newton was curious because he believed that God caused the regularity of events in the universe or whether he was curious because he, for example, observed the regularity of events in the universe. After all, it's not like all scientists cite a belief in God as their prime motivation for conducting scientific research.

It's all fine and well that Newton believed in God and that motivated him, but it doesn't mean that a belief in God is a prerequisite for science.

I find your argument that scientific laws are similar to God and therefore divine not terribly convincing, even if it is an interesting semantic observation. Scientific laws are accepted as scientific laws because they are shown to hold true universally (or close to it - e.g. Newton's Laws have been found to not hold true 100% in extreme cases). That is why scientific laws always feature specific formulas that can be tested.

"Naturalists take title to the deed of science without making proper payment."

Even Newton was a methodological naturalist. Actually, all the scientists on Radar's list of Christian scientists throughout the ages were. Radar has never been able to point out any that weren't.

And of course methodological naturalists take title to the deed of science, because it is theirs and because they have made the proper payment, i.e. they've done all the work.

Newton was not an ontological naturalist, but that is irrelevant. Would you say that a Buddhist or an atheist conducting science has no business doing so?

Science belongs to scientists of all faiths, beliefs and worldviews. It is not "owned" by Christians, as you seem to imply.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"The other two pictures were linked to the site from whence they came."

Did you intentionally put up a picture that makes the opposite point of what you intended?

You didn't wonder why, say, the "Ignore contradicting evidence" box had a bunch of religious symbols swirling around it?

And after you recently boasted about how religious dogma never changes (and scientific progress is somehow "moving goalposts"), this little diagram didn't strike you as a curiously apt depiction of that?

-- creeper

creeper said...

"Oh, and if nothing did not explode into something, what was the singularity at the point just before the big bang? The world awaits..."

Sigh... I guess we can add another word to the list.

Radar, please explain in your own words what you think a "singularity" in the sense in which it is used in the Big Bang theory is.

-- creeper

Jon Woolf said...

Radar (or someone claiming to be Radar) said: The scientific method itself is a belief in an orderly intentionally designed Universe that can be studied and understood.

No, it's not. The Universe can be studied and understood, to some extent at least, whether it's "orderly and intentionally designed" or not. Which, in fact, it isn't. This is part of what Godel, Escher, Bach is about. Godel's Incompleteness Theorem is an esoteric bit of formal mathematics which proves that logic alone is insufficient to fully describe the Universe. There is a not-logical aspect to reality.

Atheists believe in random chaos (they say) but do science as if they believe they will find logic and order.

And why not? True chaos must by definition include small pockets of order.

Also I know Darwinists are taught to simply say that we do not understand evolution and thereby walk away from the questions. You get no points for taking your ball and going home.

I have no idea how you got this out of what I wrote above.

It appears I understand it better than you.

Appearances can be deceiving.

creeper said...

"The scientific method itself is a belief in an orderly intentionally designed Universe that can be studied and understood. Atheists believe in random chaos (they say) but do science as if they believe they will find logic and order."

No, the scientific method is not a belief in an "intentionally designed" Universe. That's a self-serving little addition that you stuck in there with no justification whatsoever.

Atheists believe that God doesn't exist. Saying that they believe in "random chaos" is yet another self-serving little addition of yours.

We can observe certain patterns and laws in the Universe, e.g. gravity, weight, mass etc. Observing and studying them does not require any kind of belief in a creator or an intelligent designer.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"Also I know Darwinists are taught to simply say that we do not understand evolution and thereby walk away from the questions."

And you know this how? Who are these "Darwinists" that are taught this, who teaches them this, and how did these alleged "facts" become known to you?

Sorry, unless you can back this up with anything at all, it's evident that this is just a blatant lie.

"You get no points for taking your ball and going home. It appears I understand it better than you."

Given that you appear to think that "Darwinists" claim that man had to jump domain eleven times to evolve, I think it's safe to say your understanding of any aspect of the theory of evolution is extremely limited, if not downright farcical.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"Atheism is your religion because you believe it takes you to a place where God does not have to exist. Your heaven is on earth, so to speak."

Hm. Well, I'm an atheist, and that's not what I believe. I suspect it's not what any of the other atheists I know believe either.

I don't "believe that atheism takes me to a place where God does not have to exist".

I believe God doesn't exist to begin with. Period.

Can you tell the difference?

It's funny how your fantasies of what you believe atheists think tend to focus on a worldview in which you think we secretly somehow believe in God, but somehow rage against God or try to make his non-existence possible or have to go through some ordeal to divest ourselves of him or whatever.

It's much, much simpler than that.

You see, the moment one concludes that God doesn't exist, one doesn't have to expend any effort at all to make his non-existence possible.

Not just that, but we don't have a "system of rules and regulations" that lead us to some specific goal.

So no, atheism doesn't fit your definition of religion at all. I understand that you would like it to be so, the same way that - despite being a devout believer and active in your local church - you like to claim you're not religious*.

But that's just wishful thinking on your part.

-- creeper

(* Jon, you can find this peculiar argument of Radar's here.)

highboy said...

I thought I'd chime in again here, but I've lost all grasp of the conversation. But if I were to respond, I'm right and those who disagree or wrong. That should take care of it.

creeper said...

"To declare a positive assertion that there is no God requires proof that no scientist is able to provide."

And that indeed it's impossible to provide. There are philosophical discussions to be had regarding the probability of God's existence, but it's impossible to prove a negative of this kind.

"I think the point radar is making is that naturalism, the worldview that relies completely on natural phenomenon, assumes for no reason that this is all there is."

That would be ontological materialism. It's unrelated to the methodological naturalism that is employed by scientists in the scientific method.

Radar keeps conflating the two, and complaining that methodological naturalism (which is and has been used by all scientists no matter what their religious and personal beliefs) is some kind of bias by pretending that scientists are beholden to ontological materialism, which is simply false.

"Problem being, that it has to assume that the natural order has always been there, without a shred of evidence to suggest such a thing."

That would be uniformitarianism - the actual uniformitarianism, not the caricature version that Radar trots out here every other month or so.

It is a basic assumption at the outset, but it finds itself confirmed, for example in the consistent way in which dating methods confirm each other. And no, the way in which different radiometric dating methods confirm each other is not an exercise in circular reasoning.

"What Christian scientists believe (regardless of OEC vs. YEC) is that the natural order, by definition of being ordered, has a cause that actually ordered it that stems from something other than "it just happened"."

Yes, Christians (and other religions) proceed from an assumption of agency to explain natural phenomena and a narrative that humans find satisfying, similar to many other mythologies and religions. That doesn't make it true.

Note, though, that Christian scientists, too, consistently use methodological naturalism in their scientific research.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"And that indeed it's impossible to provide. There are philosophical discussions to be had regarding the probability of God's existence, but it's impossible to prove a negative of this kind"

so why make a positive assertion about something you can't prove, if your worldview is based on empirical evidence?

"It is a basic assumption at the outset, but it finds itself confirmed, for example in the consistent way in which dating methods confirm each other."

How do you figure that? How is the idea that the natural order has always been there when you can't date anything past the big bang? Or are you talking about something else?

"Yes, Christians (and other religions) proceed from an assumption of agency to explain natural phenomena and a narrative that humans find satisfying, similar to many other mythologies and religions. That doesn't make it true."

That's why we claim to have faith, but to suggest that our assumptions are wrong based on more assumptions hardly makes the atheistic worldview true, which is what I believe radar has been trying to say. To use the scientific method in determining the existence of supernatural behavior, you would have to have conclusive natural evidence. But if you were to have such evidence, the behavior would wouldn't be supernatural. But to suggest that natural behavior is all there is simply because supernatural behavior reaches beyond our 5 senses is a very gross assumption, especially with a first cause that science has absolutely no way of explaining. If I'm missing your point than disregard, just no that if my response were relevant, it would still be right.

highboy said...

"just no"

or "know" if you prefer. LOL.

creeper said...

"so why make a positive assertion about something you can't prove, if your worldview is based on empirical evidence?"

Who said I was making a positive assertion?

There is no empirical evidence for the existence of God (something Radar keeps making clear to me and others), therefore I don't believe God exists. To me, that seems pretty compatible with a worldview based on empirical evidence.

That aside, it's impossible to prove a universal negative, i.e. that no X exist anywhere.

If X do exist somewhere, then one can prove that. So the burden is on the party claiming that X exists.

"How is the idea that the natural order has always been there when you can't date anything past the big bang? Or are you talking about something else?"

Hm, when scientists talk about uniformitarianism and natural laws being constant, they generally mean (insofar as they subscribe to the Big Bang Theory) from very shortly after the Big Bang. A few fractions of a second after it, as I understand it.

That's the period that science can study, approx. 13.75 billion years.

What happened before the Big Bang is a mystery, and AFAIK we have nothing from which we can draw conclusions about what happened before the Big Bang.

"That's why we claim to have faith, but to suggest that our assumptions are wrong based on more assumptions hardly makes the atheistic worldview true, which is what I believe radar has been trying to say."

Perhaps that's what Radar's trying to say. Hard to tell sometimes behind all the simple-minded, debunked propaganda he's pushing most of the time.

The "more assumptions" that I think you're referring to here are not unique to an atheistic worldview, btw. They're part of your world too, and part of the science behind all kinds of things. (Ironically, Radar consistently makes use of them when he's on the Global Warming hobby horse.)

And those assumptions that are not in question in any other context and that are supported by plenty of evidence in the form of results matching up (which would not be possible if, for example, one posited a young Earth of less than 10,000 years), happen to indicate an old Earth.

Like I've said countless times on this blog, that doesn't mean theists, deists, Christians, Jews, Muslims etc. are wrong in believing in God. It just means that a particular interpretation (which BTW is not the only interpretation) of a particular section of the Bible contradicts the evidence. Which would indicate that another interpretation should perhaps be preferred.

This has nothing to do with atheism vs. Christianity.

"To use the scientific method in determining the existence of supernatural behavior, you would have to have conclusive natural evidence. But if you were to have such evidence, the behavior would wouldn't be supernatural."

Yep, which is why I think it's a category error to try to wedge God and religion into science.

Yet if the whole YEC narrative is true, then scientific data would correspond to it anyway, and Radar wouldn't have to come up with pretzel logic and numerous evasions to try to explain away the fact that there is no evidence for a young Earth, and plenty of evidence for an old Earth, none of which he has been able to refute.

"But to suggest that natural behavior is all there is simply because supernatural behavior reaches beyond our 5 senses is a very gross assumption, especially with a first cause that science has absolutely no way of explaining."

Again, please have a look at the difference between methodological and ontological naturalism. Science doesn't suggest that natural behavior is all there is (ontological naturalism). It just happens to be all that science can study (methodological naturalism).

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

creeper, if you read that K & G paper you would know what I meant. The authors pose several innovative leaps that are inexplicable in the run up the ladder from goo to you. I went back and counted eight of them so I will settle on eight.

Really, you guys never address the core issues. You say that various statements are debunked so you don't need to debunk them.

Worldview drives the direction of inquiries. Newton did not limit himself, Crick did. Both were able to make great discoveries. A belief in evolution has almost no impact on whatever operational science you are employing unless it is wasting your time trying to prove macroevolution, naturally.

Darwinists prove speciation over and over and fail to realize that speciation is part of the design of organisms.

Engineers study the design of organisms to learn to make more efficient motors and wings and various other things.

If we didn't waste so much time and money on SETI and looking for missing links we might see more actual advancements in harnessing solar energy or curing cancer and so on. I consider Darwinists a leech on the leg of science. Kind of like the Federal government these days...har.

radar

highboy said...

"Who said I was making a positive assertion?'

I'm referring to atheism in general, which makes that positive assertion.

"If X do exist somewhere, then one can prove that. "

If x is supernatural, you still say it could be proven with natural evidence?

"What happened before the Big Bang is a mystery, and AFAIK we have nothing from which we can draw conclusions about what happened before the Big Bang."

Exactly. But something DID happen.

"This has nothing to do with atheism vs. Christianity."

I realize that is not what you're arguing. But my original response that started our exchange was in response to an anonymous post that suggested the quoted comment contained no facts.

"Science doesn't suggest that natural behavior is all there is (ontological naturalism). It just happens to be all that science can study (methodological naturalism)."

I didn't realize there were two types of naturalism. Most naturalists I've encountered are typically of the former, arguing that the natural order is all that is.

Jon Woolf said...

The authors pose several innovative leaps that are inexplicable in the run up the ladder from goo to you.

Radar, the fact that you can't explain those "leaps" doesn't mean that they can't be explained at all.

A belief in evolution has almost no impact on whatever operational science you are employing unless it is wasting your time trying to prove macroevolution, naturally.

Or developing vaccines, drugs, treatments and therapies for various medical problems ... "Darwinian medicine" -- that is, the consideration of our evolutionary past in developing medical treatments -- is a very useful aspect of modern medicine.

Darwinists prove speciation over and over and fail to realize that speciation is part of the design of organisms.

[chuckle.wav] I wonder if you realize just how weak that statement sounds to someone who has been studying and involved in the C/E controversy for many years. Thirty years ago, creationists like Duane Gish and Morris the Elder swore on a stack of Bibles that speciation never happened. Today, the evidence for speciation is so overwhelming that you've been forced to retreat to "okay, speciation happens, but it never goes any further." And your position will prove no stronger than theirs was.

If we didn't waste so much time and money on SETI and looking for missing links we might see more actual advancements in harnessing solar energy or curing cancer and so on.

Huh? Just how much money do you think is being "wasted" on studying evolution? And how does it compare to the multi-billion-dollar budgets for green energy and cancer research?

Oh, and regarding your veneration of Newton: among other things, Newton was an astrologer, an alchemist, and a numerologist. He made some pretty egregious mistakes in his life, such as his "corpuscular" model of light, and he was a holy terror to men who disareed with him or otherwise drew his ire. He was one of the first truly great scientists, but he wasn't a saint and he wasn't infallible.

creeper said...

"creeper, if you read that K & G paper you would know what I meant."

If you had read it, you would be able to show the quote where you think this was said.

"The authors pose several innovative leaps that are inexplicable in the run up the ladder from goo to you. I went back and counted eight of them so I will settle on eight."

Again, provide the quote.

Though it seems you're at least backing off from the "jump domain" nonsense by now rephrasing it as "several innovative leaps".

So perhaps you've come to realize that your "jumped domain 11 times" or even several times or 8 times was a complete lie as well as a demonstration that the meaning of a simple biological term like "domain" completely eludes you.

"Really, you guys never address the core issues. You say that various statements are debunked so you don't need to debunk them."

No, we say they are debunked because we've (or someone else has) already debunked them. If you think we've made that claim about something that wasn't debunked, let us know which one.

"Worldview drives the direction of inquiries. Newton did not limit himself, Crick did. Both were able to make great discoveries."

How did Crick limit himself? How did Newton not limit himself?

Both used methodological naturalism in their work. They had different motivations for pursuing their scientific research. How did that concretely affect the work that they did?

Actually, how was Crick able to make such a major breakthrough without believing in God and while engaging in methodological naturalism?

"A belief in evolution has almost no impact on whatever operational science you are employing unless it is wasting your time trying to prove macroevolution, naturally."

Nobody wastes time "proving" that macroevolution occurred these days. With the exception of an insignificant fringe of YECs, the scientific consensus is that the fossil record amply demonstrates that macroevolution has taken place. YECs have no way to refute this (consistently and predictably drawing a blank on hydrologic sorting) and simply object on principle. (Kind of like the Republican party these days... har.)

"Darwinists prove speciation over and over and fail to realize that speciation is part of the design of organisms."

Perhaps they "fail to realize" this because it has not been demonstrated or confirmed. YECs could form a testable, falsifiable hypothesis based on this claim - e.g. what would we expect to see in DNA if it were true that it's front-loaded and simply discards information as it goes along - but for some reason they don't take that step. I wonder why that is... well actually, I don't, but you might.

"Engineers study the design of organisms to learn to make more efficient motors and wings and various other things."

Yes, but that is hardly the only kind of science. You should value historical science, actually, since it underlies all your claims re. climate science. So does uniformitarianism - the real uniformitarianism, not the silly strawman version that you like to present on your blog.

"If we didn't waste so much time and money on SETI and looking for missing links we might see more actual advancements in harnessing solar energy or curing cancer and so on. I consider Darwinists a leech on the leg of science."

Hey, science as a whole can walk and chew gum at the same time. Do you really think that significant resources are diverted from, say, a cure for cancer to SETI? They're in completely different fields for starters. If SETI were abolished tomorrow, would cancer be cured faster?

-- creeper

creeper said...

"I'm referring to atheism in general, which makes that positive assertion."

I'm not sure that it does. Unless I'm mistaken, "God doesn't exist" is a negative assertion, and a valid conclusion to draw from the lack of evidence for God's existence.

"If x is supernatural, you still say it could be proven with natural evidence?"

If the supernatural entity interacts in any significant way with the natural world (as the Christian faith asserts), then why not?

"Exactly. But something DID happen[ before the Big Bang]."

Perhaps, but I suspect it is simply beyond our current comprehension.

"I didn't realize there were two types of naturalism. Most naturalists I've encountered are typically of the former, arguing that the natural order is all that is."

Yep, but one doesn't have to be an ontological naturalist to practice methodological naturalism. That's the mistake Radar keeps making just about every time he brings up "worldview". You can go to probably any time Radar mentions "worldview" and see him conflate ontological and methodological naturalism.

See for example his comment on Newton and Crick in the previous comments. Both were responsible for scientific breakthroughs; one believed in God, the other didn't. Both practiced methodological naturalism in their work. Yet Radar claims that Crick "limited" himself, though in a way that Radar is unable to define.

Radar's claim that including the supernatural makes for better science is something he has been called on time and time again, and never has he been able to identify a single scientist or scientific breakthrough or scientific explanation that actually used the supernatural in any way.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"I'm not sure that it does. Unless I'm mistaken, "God doesn't exist" is a negative assertion, and a valid conclusion to draw from the lack of evidence for God's existence."

Its still a positive assertion, a declarative statement implying verified fact.

"If the supernatural entity interacts in any significant way with the natural world (as the Christian faith asserts), then why not?"

Sure there would be evidence, but I was speaking more in terms of absolute proof.

"Perhaps, but I suspect it is simply beyond our current comprehension."

Every effect has a cause.

creeper said...

"Its still a positive assertion, a declarative statement implying verified fact."

Not sure what you're trying to get at with this "positive assertion".

How would you verify any statement along the lines of "X universally doesn't exist"? You'd have to be able to know the contents of the entire universe. It's theoretically impossible.

Concluding that "God doesn't exist" is a logical inference from the lack of evidence for the existence of God.

"Sure there would be evidence, but I was speaking more in terms of absolute proof."

"Absolute proof" is usually a term reserved for mathematics. What do you mean by it in this context?

"Every effect has a cause. "

Not necessarily. You're already conceding one hypothetical entity that has no cause. Therefore you're conceding that not every effect has a cause. We can likewise posit other entities or events beyond our understanding that have no cause.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"Not sure what you're trying to get at with this "positive assertion".

How would you verify any statement along the lines of "X universally doesn't exist"? You'd have to be able to know the contents of the entire universe. It's theoretically impossible."

You've pretty much made the point I've been trying to make. To make an assertion as fact, you would have to be able to verify it. To say "God doesn't exist", would require verification, and as you stated, its impossible.

"Not necessarily. You're already conceding one hypothetical entity that has no cause. Therefore you're conceding that not every effect has a cause. We can likewise posit other entities or events beyond our understanding that have no cause."

Actually I'm not. In science every effect has a cause. Science is only observing what resides within the natural order. God would not reside in the natural order and would therefore not be bound by the same laws.

creeper said...

"To say "God doesn't exist", would require verification,"

Lack of evidence gets you there just the same.

"Actually I'm not."

Actually you are [conceding that not every effect has a cause]. I was talking about a hypothetical entity, not a hypothetically entity subject to other restrictions to be tacked on later.

"In science every effect has a cause. Science is only observing what resides within the natural order. God would not reside in the natural order and would therefore not be bound by the same laws."

Yes, the God of the gaps happens to fill the gaps allotted to it. That's not a coincidence. Man feels that a First Cause is missing, and hey presto, we have a narrative that provides a First Cause. Again, not a coincidence.

But as long as you are saying that God does "not reside in the natural order", you're conceding that it's possible for something "not to reside in the natural order".

So it's certainly possible to hypothesize other such entities or events. Or to suppose that something of this nature is simply beyond our current comprehension.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"Lack of evidence gets you there just the same."

No a lack of evidence for my 5 senses to perceive does not allow me to state universally that there is not God.

"Actually you are [conceding that not every effect has a cause]. I was talking about a hypothetical entity, not a hypothetically entity subject to other restrictions to be tacked on later."

A hypothetical supernatural entity would not be bound by natural law, so I fail to understand your point. What I'm saying is that in scientific terms, there is a cause for every effect. Your reference to my belief in a supernatural entity that wouldn't be bound by such scientific principles is somewhat confusing here.

"Yes, the God of the gaps happens to fill the gaps allotted to it. That's not a coincidence. Man feels that a First Cause is missing, and hey presto, we have a narrative that provides a First Cause. Again, not a coincidence."

You can assume all you want that its some coincidence, but its actually a pretty logical conclusion to make. It may not be concrete by any means, but the fact that there is such a gap, a first cause science can't explain, a few thousand years worth of testimony by humans around the world, the Bible, etc, its a pretty logical conclusion, whereas to say its a coincidence is nothing more than an assumption.

"But as long as you are saying that God does "not reside in the natural order", you're conceding that it's possible for something "not to reside in the natural order".

"So it's certainly possible to hypothesize other such entities or events. Or to suppose that something of this nature is simply beyond our current comprehension."

I'm saying that its possible for something supernatural not to reside in the natural order, because that is exactly what supernatural is.

creeper said...

"No a lack of evidence for my 5 senses to perceive does not allow me to state universally that there is not God."

Perhaps not, since you can't prove a universal negative, but it can get you to state that you believe God doesn't exist.

"A hypothetical supernatural entity would not be bound by natural law, so I fail to understand your point. What I'm saying is that in scientific terms, there is a cause for every effect. Your reference to my belief in a supernatural entity that wouldn't be bound by such scientific principles is somewhat confusing here."

Because you're confining it to science and the natural order. The First Cause argument strains at those confines. Since we're discussing what appears to be a paradox if we're beholden to "every effect has a cause", we come up with unconventional answers. One of those answers is what we can call "God". We can also call it "supernatural other than God", or perhaps we can say "the beginning of the universe is beyond our current comprehension". None of these gives full answers to the question of how the universe came about (even Genesis is a bit stingy in its description there...).

Religion is a result of Man's thirst to have answers to these questions. So is science.

"You can assume all you want that its some coincidence,"

I thought I just said it wasn't a coincidence. Twice.

" but its actually a pretty logical conclusion to make."

Of course it is. That's why God was invented. Question without answer: meet the answer.

"It may not be concrete by any means, but the fact that there is such a gap, a first cause science can't explain, a few thousand years worth of testimony by humans around the world, the Bible, etc, its a pretty logical conclusion, whereas to say its a coincidence is nothing more than an assumption."

Again, I think you misunderstood something there. I didn't say it was a coincidence. I said the opposite.

"I'm saying that its possible for something supernatural not to reside in the natural order, because that is exactly what supernatural is."

I don't think we're really disagreeing here. You say "supernatural", I say "beyond our current comprehension". I think we kinda have the same thing in mind. It's just that, say, the God presented in the Bible is not the only thing that is "supernatural" or "beyond our current comprehension" that one can hypothesize.

-- creeper